Joliet Library More than Books Digital Media Studio Lets You Get Creative

Joliet Library Green Screen Room patron experience
Joliet Library Green Screen Room patron experience

By Mallory Hewlett

Nested in the lower level of the Ottawa Street (downtown) Branch of the Joliet Public Library sits the expansive Digital Media Studio, commonly referred to as the DMS.

Inside, you will find a row of 3D printers, T-shirt and poster printer, two audio booths, computer stations equipped with Adobe Creative Suite, and even a room with a floor to ceiling green screen.

Just outside the doors, is the art studio space and a small collaboration room for group projects, as well as a traveling exhibit space.

Wait, you mean all that stuff is inside the library, right? The place with all the books? You got it.

As technology has changed, so have public library services. What was once a quiet place to research, is now an interactive place to learn. And you don’t have to be quiet anymore. We haven’t done the “shhh” thing for quite some time. In 2023, there isn’t a much better place to explore digital creation than your public library.

“We are proud of what our staff in the Digital Media Studio can offer, from content creation and video production, to t-shirt design and printing and so much more,” said Megan Millen, Executive Director of the Joliet Public Library.

“We have the unique opportunity to be a space for innovative learning and creativity.”

The DMS was one of the priorities in the renovation of the downtown Library in 2021. What started in a tiny office on the second floor in the early 2010s, has now stretched across the lower level of the building. The services have expanded as well.

“The Digital Media Studio is a place for all things creative,” said Josh Phillips, manager of the DMS. “We have staff members who can help you build social media channels and teach you the latest trends, 3D print something … even record an album.”

In fact, many patrons have already done those things in the DMS over the years. For those with a Joliet Public Library card, the services are free. Patrons only pay for projects they print on the 3D, poster or T-shirt printers.

“We have professional and cutting-edge equipment in the studio,” said Phillips. “We have had cartoonists publish their works on Amazon, helped voice artists find new gigs, opened up new ways for promotion and marketing for business owners. We work with you to bring your ideas to the present.”

Not crazy about technology? That’s OK. Our highly trained staff has expertise in different areas and skills such as photography, graphic design, and editing. They are happy to walk you through your projects to reach your vision.

One of the most popular services in the DMS is digitizing video. With this process, the DMS staff is able to take old videos, from camcorders, VHS to 8mm and Super 8 film, and convert them into a digital format. Through digitizing, your old home movies can be preserved, even though the technology they were filmed on may be obsolete.

“Digitizing film and even voice recordings can be personal and special for a lot of people,” said Phillips. “We give you the tools and show you how to save those memories.”

Plus, there are other things you can do in the DMS besides becoming a Photoshop expert, learning to edit your wedding video, or uploading your home videos to your YouTube page.

The DMS also offers free programming weekly, on topics like photography, music and art. Recently, the team partnered with a local artist to create a painting in-studio in front of a live audience.

So, the next time you need to print a banner for your daughter’s birthday party, or you need to find the time to get your passport photo taken, think of the DMS at the Joliet Public Library. We’re here for you.

The DMS accepts walk-ins as well as appointments for their services. To make an appointment, you can call 815-846-3127 or email [email protected].

Open hours are Monday-Thursday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. You must have a Joliet Public Library card to use the DMS. To find out more about equipment or printing costs, visit https://jolietlibrary.org/digital-media-studio/.

Mallory Hewlett is Communications Manager for the Joliet Public Library.

Patrons recording voice overs in the DMS Audio booth, using professional microphones and Ableton Live 11.

Patrons creating floral crown projects in the DMS.

 

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